Best Push Notification Services to Engage Your Audience
Successful push notifications regularly get up to 2x higher click-through rates than emails do.
That's right - if you use them correctly, you'll be getting double the amount of people to see your content compared to if you had sent your message to your audience in an email.
They are a powerful way to boost engagement with your audience, and you can harness them both on the web and through iOS and Android mobile apps (the better option, which we'll explain later).
If you're reading this though, you probably already know the benefits of Push Notifications. Now you just need to choose the right push notification service for your business.
We've compiled the best push notification services into this guide to help you choose the right one for you. Keep reading to learn more, or check them out in the video below:
Choosing a Push Notification Service For Your Website & App
Choosing the right push notification service is going to make your engagement strategy much easier, as it'll be easy to set up and send notifications to your engaged users.
Some of these push notification services are more well known than others, but all have strong functionality. We've tested them all, and done our own deep dive to ensure we're bringing you the best push notification services currently available.
We've included information on their pricing options, as some cater more to smaller businesses, while others target high growth or enterprise companies.
Either way, it's worth taking a look at the options before deciding on the service you'll choose. Here are the push services we're going to be looking at:
- Google Firebase
- Push Notifications for WordPress
- Smart Notification WordPress Plugin
OneSignal is one of the leading app and web push notification services. It's used by companies like Uber, Adobe, Conde Nast, Skyscanner, to name a few, so if you go with OneSignal you'll be in good company. It's also free to use.
Like Google or Facebook, the data your notifications provide to OneSignal are the reason it's free to use, however they won't be sending ads to your users.
You can send mobile push notifications, web push notifications, in-app notifications, as well as email notifications. OneSignal is the ideal solution if you are planning to send both web and mobile push notifications through mobile apps.
When we build mobile apps for News publishers, online businesses and eCommerce brands, our apps all have a deep integration with OneSignal - so our users have complete flexibility to send push notifications according to their needs.
Price: Free (plus paid support options if you need more support)
As well as having a host of other features, Google Firebase lets you send Push Notifications to app users.
Like some other Google business tools, it’s easy to use and does as promised, but as it's not uniquely designed for Push Notifications (unlike some of the other push notification services mentioned here), you can expect some compromises.
That said, what you might not get in extra features and functionality, Google makes up for with analytics integration.
Leanplum's push notification platform covers the whole spectrum of audience communications: email marketing, mobile notifications, app inbox messages, and more.
It's one of the leading mobile marketing platforms, offering a complete toolkit including everything you'll need for scaling a successful push notification strategy.
In addition, it comes complete with A/B testing, automation tools, and push notification personalization features so you can get even more out of your real-time user notifications.
Price: Contact them for a custom quote based on your requirements
PushBots is a push notification service with a couple of great strengths.
For one, it’s chock full of automation. While there will come times when you need to manually push out notifications, there’s much of it you may want to streamline and this app allows you to do that.
The analytics provided by PushBots is another particular strength, rivaling what you’d see in Google Analytics.
Price: Starts at $29/mo
For those of you who haven’t built a mobile app, PushCrew would be a great solution as it deals solely in web and mobile web push notifications.
As a result, personalization is available - though it focuses more on the kinds of behaviors and types of triggers you’d use on a website.
Price: Free up to 2,000 subscribers, then premium plans are available
Airship (formerly known as Urban Airship) specializes solely in the mobile communication experience, which means it doesn’t just help with mobile app push.
It also tackles things like SMS messages, email, and mobile wallets. While the predictive analytics and AI optimization are attractive features to have, this kind of service comes with a price.
Airship is aimed at enterprise customers, and if you go with them as your push notification provider, you'll never feel like you're short of features to use.
Price: Basic plan starts at $99/mo
Catapush is a simple delivery API allowing you to send push notifications relating to your web app. It's designed to be ideal for sending data-driven, transactional notifications based on user activity on your site or app.
For every notification, you can see real time statuses, and delivery confirmation. As you would expect, you can also send rich media in your notifications.
One of the most unique aspects of Catapush is their 2Way Communication feature. This allows recipients to reply directly to push notifications, creating a good way to receive feedback from your app users.
Price: Free tier available. Paid plans starting at €20.00/month
PushAlert is a more advanced tool that includes a dedicated push notification plugin for WordPress. It lets you send both desktop push notifications and mobile notifications.
It includes some great features such as an Audience Creator, enabling you to send notifications to the most relevant and engaged subscribers, A/B testing, and an API that can link directly with your web or mobile app, letting you personalize notifications more than you usually would be able to.
Price: Free plan available. Paid plans start at $12/month
For those of you sending Push Notifications from WordPress to your own mobile app that users your WordPress content, you can use this plugin by Delite Studio to automate push notifications whenever a new blog post, article, or story gets published on your website.
It works with native apps, Cordova and Ionic based apps, as well as being compatible with more app development frameworks. It has limited functionality, but it’s a good solution for smaller blogs and publishers who have less than 1,000 subscribers they want to target with real-time publication notifications.
If you have a WordPress site already though, but do not have mobile apps - MobiLoud can get you great apps live on the App Stores in under 2 weeks with all the push notification options you could ever need!
Price: Free version available, or paid plans from $99
With the Smart Notification plugin, you can send web push notifications, mobile push notifications, as well as email notifications to your website and app users.
In addition, this premium plugin works well with most website types, including eCommerce, jobs sites, memberships, BuddyPress networks, and more. It also puts a special focus on geolocation features, which makes this especially great if your website targets local users.
Price: Plans starting at $199.
Want to send push notifications to your mobile users? The best way is converting your site to a mobile app, with MobiLoud. Book a free consultation today to see how it's done.
Web vs Mobile Push Notifications
What works better, web notifications sent from your site or mobile push notifications sent from iOS and Android apps?
App push notifications are much better. Why? For starters, they give much better reach.
Web notifications are limiting. You can't send them on iOS - at all. So there's no way to send web notifications to your fans and customers who have iPhones (50% of them on average in the US).
Android Push Notifications
The outlook is slightly better on Android, but things aren't exactly rosy. Although Google pioneered web notifications back in 2013, things have changed since then. The ever growing, ruthless focus on user experience and privacy concerns taking center stage in recent years forced Google to act.
With Chrome version 80, Google is cracking down on web push by making it harder to get the user's permission and blocking websites that abuse them (looking at you Daily Mail). In theory this isn't a ban, but it does make web notifications harder to use and less effective. It isn't just Chrome either. Firefox are following suit, and the changes are likely to be applied on all Chromium based browsers - Brave, Edge, Opera, Samsung Browser and others.
While web notifications will be around for a while, their heyday is over. Push notifications sent through mobile apps are a different story though.
Advantages of App Push Notifications
Sending push notifications via an app allows you to send them on iOS, instantly doubling your push notification audience. You're more free to send them out however you want on Android too - they aren't effected by Chrome's actions against web notifications.
One of the reasons that app notifications are safer is that they are more in line with the user experience. People do not generally want to be bombarded by notifications from the websites that they visit. When they download your app though it's a sign of loyalty to, and engagement with your brand. They are far more likely to be receptive to notifications as they have already proven themselves interested by downloading the app in the first place.
Well designed apps will enhance the effectiveness of push notifications further by push preferences and a message center. The former allows them to choose which kinds of notifications they'd like to receive, while the latter saves messages in an app "inbox" that they can come back to later if they are busy.
App notifications have helped many businesses to grow their traffic, user engagement and ultimately revenue. The problem is, apps are traditionally expensive and time consuming to build. So how can you get mobile push notifications, and all the other benefits of mobile apps - without taking a large financial risk?
Build Mobile Apps with MobiLoud
Our platform is built to turn any website or web app into native mobile apps. The apps will be ready in just weeks, for a fraction of the cost of custom development.
They'll also sync completely with your existing site, and you'll be able to harness push notifications to their full potential.
MobiLoud powers the apps of major brands such as Business Insider, Foreign Policy and over a thousand more! All you need is a site that works well on mobile - and we can turn it into awesome apps in record time.
Check out our solutions and the features you get when you use MobiLoud here.
To learn more, schedule a free, personalized demo and get a first-hand look at the platform's possibilities with one of our app experts.
Choosing a push notification provider is an important choice. We've covered some of the best push notification providers currently on the market, and explained why mobile apps are essential if you want to really get the full benefits.
It's important to keep in mind that the success of your push notifications won't come down solely to the tools you use - you also need the right strategy.
The way you craft your push notifications is going to have the a profound effect on your user engagement and click through rates. Make sure your copy is engaging, the media you include is relevant, and you send them at the most relevant times.
If you want to learn more about push notifications, make sure to check out our complete guide push notifications, and read our best tips on increasing your push notification click-through rate here.
Even better, let's chat about push notifications and your overall mobile strategy face to face. Let's get your business on the App Store and Google Play so you can send out notifications like a pro - book a demo today!